I was reading some of A.W. Tozer this week and came across this passage: “The God of the modern evangelical rarely astonishes anybody. He manages to stay pretty much within the constitution [of the church]. Never breaks over our bylaws. He’s a very well- behaved God and very denominational and very much one of us, and we ask Him to help us when we’re in trouble and look to Him to watch over us when we’re asleep.
The God of the modern evangelical isn’t a God I could have much respect for. But when the Holy Ghost shows us God as He is we admire Him to the point of wonder and delight.” When was the last time you felt wonder and delight when you thought of God?
We all have times (at least I hope and presume) when we become enraptured in the presence of God. Perhaps it’s after a difficult deliverance or triumph. We are elated and thankful in His presence. But even then, the source of our wonder is what He has done for us, not about simply who He is. It has been the very rare individual I have met that lives their life consciously aware of the beauty and glory of God. When was the last time you spent time in His presence in absolute awe of His character and love? We’ve exchanged the magnificent, all powerful, beautiful God for a cheap imitation that fits nicely within our narrow concepts and limited understanding.
As a result, we worship a God who looks a lot like us. We were created to spend our lives worshiping Him, but instead we worship an image of our own creation whose sole purpose seems to be bailing us out of the situations into which we’ve caused ourselves to fall. That makes God little more than a cosmic Santa Claus. We ask Him for gifts, favors, and handouts and then have the audacity to tell Him we just want to know His will for our lives. We don’t want to know God’s will for our lives because we would then be obligated to follow it.
The truth is we already know His will for our lives. He created us to worship Him. We worship Him by falling to our knees in His presence and to unequivocally doing whatever He asks us to do. He is the majestic King, more beautiful, wonderful, and terrifying (in the best possible way) than anything our imagination could ever conjure. We all want God’s will in our lives as long as it doesn’t cause too much discomfort or change in the world we’ve created for ourselves, and we can get away with that as long as we keep God within the constraints we’ve created for Him.
Perhaps the reason for all the denominations and constitutions and bylaws is to make certain the God we worship is one we can control. Of course a God we can control would never be worthy of our worship. Maybe that’s the point. Maybe that’s why we don’t feel wonder and delight when we think of God. To do that would implicate us; it would mean we know what God’s will is for our life. And then we’d actually have to do something. That’s scary. It’s not safe. But that’s the reality of God. He is calling you to something bigger than yourself. He’s calling you to stare at Him in awe and wonder. Are you willing to see Him as He is, to worship Him in delight and wonder, and serve Him with all of your heart, soul, strength, and mind? Is He worth it to you?